Whenever we think about cleaning the vehicle two things that come to mind are car detailing and car wash. While a car wash is the superficial cleaning of a car, detailing involves a lot more components that provide a thorough service to your vehicle. Let’s take a quick look into the differences that make car wash and car detailing different from each other. 

Define Car Wash

To define it simply, we could say that car wash is the basic way of cleaning the car by scrubbing away the dust and stains from the upper surface. 

While washing a car could be an easy way to make your vehicle look shiny and clean there are more things that need deep care to make a car run smoothly and this is when car detailing comes into use. 

Define Car Detailing

As the name suggests, car detailing includes a detailed service of your vehicle which includes deep cleaning and restoration of the vehicle. The detailing is done for both interiors and exteriors. Post car detailing you can notice the transformation of your vehicle. 

It not only enhances the appearance but also improves the longevity of your vehicle. Another plus point of taking car detailing is that it increases the retail value of your car. 

Car detailing involves vacuum, carpet cleaning, leather conditioning, engine cleaning, washing, waxing, sealant, headlight restoration, and much more.

car wash and detail

The Differences Between Car Wash and Detail are Listed Below

1. Considering the Budget

Car wash being a simplified process that doesn’t require professionals could be done on a lesser budget. Meanwhile, car detailing requires professionals and is also an extensive process that requires a bigger budget. 

2. Procedure of Cleaning

Car wash only includes rubbing, and cleansing the exterior of the car using shampoo and then rinsing off. While car detailing uses elaborate steps to give your car showroom-like service. Here not just washing, but total overhauling is done to enhance the looks and life of the vehicle.

3. External Protection

When talking about car detailing and car wash, only scrubbing is done using shampoo and water in a car wash, which does not give protection to the paint but only removes stains. However, car detailing includes waxing and polishing which increases the shine of paint and also shields it from harsh weather. 

4. Interior Cleaning

In a nutshell, car wash does not include interior cleaning as it is only for exterior cleaning but in the case of car detailing interior cleaning can be done thoroughly. Be it car seats, carpets, or boot space, everything is cleaned meticulously in the process of car detailing.

5. Paint Protection and Maintenance

Again using a car wash service will not give you desirable paint protection and maintenance as it is not a well-defined process. But if you opt for a car detailing process then not only the professionals will give your vehicle proper maintenance but will also clean and vacuum your car to give better paint protection.

6. Time Allocation

 If you do a car wash at home or automated car wash stations it might not take more than half an hour. It is a crucial point of difference between car detailing and car wash. In case of car detailing it could take a complete one hour depending upon the services you have opted for. 

7. Frequency

 A car wash is a superficial cleaning that does not last for a longer period hence you need a frequent car wash service to maintain your car’s look. However, in the car detailing method, deep cleaning and maintenance are done which stays for a longer period.

car wash and detail


1. Which option is better car detailing or car wash? 

If you are looking to choose between car detailing and car wash. Car Wash is a more practically needed chore for a car to look better. However, one who desires more aesthetics should opt for car detailing as it includes multiple steps.  

2. Can a car wash replace the need for car detailing?

Well not definitely as it only works from the outside and does no cleaning from the inside. It is like a quick touch-up. However, car detailing is a more elaborate process for showroom-like service. 

3. How does a car wash differ from detailing?

Car wash is a simplified step of car cleaning that only includes exterior cleaning. Meanwhile, car detailing is a wide aspect that covers both exterior and interior cleaning. 

4. Is there a difference in car detailing and car wash prices?

Car washing is a simple process that consumes less time and labor hence it costs less. Car detailing is an extensive process that includes professionals and more accessories and tools for thorough cleaning, which sums up to higher costs.

Know more about: Mobile Car Detailing

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